That, of course, leads open an opportunity for a daring executive who strikes quickly and gets the pieces he wants right away. Most teams have as much as half of a roster to fill via free agency, which means that a team can be overhauled virtually overnight. Will the new rules, and their implied shift back towards up-and-down, firewagon hockey result in wholesale changes for certain teams? For instance, could we finally see an implementation of the Swedish "torpedo" system that was toyed with in recent years by Scotty Bowman? One of the main reasons he gave for not using it in the NHL was the two-line offsides pass rule, which has now been scrapped.
Either way, the next few weeks will be a hot-stove leaguer's dream, considering the depth of talent available at every position. Cup-winning goalies, former MVP's, 50-goal scorers, elite young talent and scrappy defensemen are all available. Too bad the NHL didn't hook up eBay on this one - it could have made for a good promotion and some fun commercials. I could just see Bobby Clarke throwing his PC out the window after getting outbid at the last second on some knuckle-dragging, slack-jawed goon.